Ekali and Dionysos, Athens – Discover the lush Athenian paradise of the North
Being fortunate enough to grow up in the northern suburbs of Athens, I was granted the chance to appreciate certain aspects of the area that one rarely meets moving towards the city centre. The streets are framed with wide pavements and green trees. Protected green areas have been characterized as forests by presidential decree, making the northern suburbs an absolute natural retreat. Taking this into account along with the extremely low amount of traffic, Ekali and Dionysos are some of the places in Athens with virtually zero air pollution.
Since the whole municipality is sparsely populated, plots of land and houses are majestically spread out giving you a feeling of freedom and a sense of personal space. When walking around the streets of Ekali, relaxing and enjoying the scenery is effortless and since traffic is minimal to none, nothing can interfere with your pleasant walk. Back in the day, the northern suburbs were a rural destination for wealthy families that had their main home in the centre of Athens, hence the size and style of the old holiday houses are very distinctive. As you stroll peacefully down the streets you will most certainly witness residential architectural masterpieces that stem from the mid-60s until the present day, making this area a tremendous mixture of different types of construction materials, design and style.
I remember returning from school in the evenings and walking from the bus stop back home. With every step I took, a thought that would be burdening me all day would slowly be lifted and then disappear as I would dawdle and observe the trees moving with the light breeze and the empty streets ready to be populated with my imagination. All neighbourhoods in the area are very family-friendly and there are always kids on the streets playing, serving you with a feeling of calmness and gratification, but most importantly a feeling of safety.
A difference in weather conditions is also noticeable in the area in comparison to the rest of Attica. The air is always fresh, and temperatures are on average a bit lower than the rest of Athens. This is mainly due to the lush natural landscape that surrounds the area as well as its position on the map. While most areas in Athens rarely see snow, the northern suburbs usually have a white late December making winter holidays all in all a bit more festive. During the summer, residents of the area enjoy cooler temperatures that effectively allow them to continue with their outside hobbies during the hot summer days.
Given the fact that the area is strictly residential, and you cannot find any store within a three-kilometre radius other than small kiosks, your spare time in these neighbourhoods passes with a lot of physical activities and hobbies. There are a lot of playgrounds and athletic courts situated all around the area making it easy to exercise effortlessly every day. In addition, the mountains of Penteli and Parnitha are situated in close distance, offering a beautiful location for outdoor sports such as hiking, climbing or even moto crossing and an excellent spot for daylong field trips.
Ekali and Dionysos are a dream location for anyone who enjoys quiet moments and natural sceneries as well as for anyone who prefers country-living, even though the Athenian City Centre is a simple drive away.
30 August 2021